Nigeria has decided to pull out of the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games after two other West African countries – Sierra Leone and Liberia also pulled out due to the spread of deadly Ebola virus in the region.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach confirmed the withdrawal of Nigeria from the Games Saturday, reports Xinhua.
“Two NOCs (Sierra Leone and Liberia) decided together with their government to not come here. We have to respect the decision of the government in such a difficult moment for their country,” said Bach.
“We also have been informed that the team of Nigeria wants to go home. Obviously this decision was taken today, because yesterday in the conversation with the Nigerian team we’ve been told that they would simply follow the instruction by their government.
“Obviously the Nigerian government has decided to send them home. We feel sad for the athletes as it will be extremely difficult for them. They already felt the excitement of living in the Village and now they have to leave – that’s a very difficult task.”
IOC and the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee issued joint communique Friday regarding to the athletes from the Ebola-affected region in West Africa.
The communique said: “The organising committee has made it clear that all delegations are welcome to the Games and each country is free to take their own decision on attendance.”
“Those from the region will be subject to regular temperature and physical assessment throughout the period. Based on health authority guidelines it has been decided that athletes from affected areas will not compete in combat sports.”
“Additionally, based on the inability to completely exclude the risk of potential infection it was also decided that no athletes from the region would compete in the pool.”